In of September 2001 my family and I loss a large portion of our income due to extenuating circumstances where we were unable to make payments to our mortgage obligation. We notified our creditors and the credit bureaus to inform them of our situation. My complaint is that while we were in this situation we were never informed that there was a service called loss mitigation that could have aided us. We spent a lot of time and energy worrying, going around in circles; even having to seek government aid just to be denied. If you can imagine standing in front of the desk at a welfare office with your wife and children seeking temporary help just to be denied. That was a humiliating feeling that I never want my family and I to feel again. Anyway we contacted Citimortgage to get some advise and the response was that for us to contact our VA loan officer and that they could not do anything until we were three months behind. Meanwhile we were in touch with our VA Loan Officer which offered advise and we recieved information from Consumer Credit Counseling on suggestions to help our situation which we did but to no avail These were things we found on our own. When three months had passed we got back in touch with Citimortgage and they treated us like second class citizens. We found it difficult in reaching them. There was no real reasonable suggestions provided that was able to help us in our situation. This is the process for VA foreclosure alternative or Loss Mitigation that should have taking place 1) The servicer in this case would be CitiMortgage should obtain a written request and supporting documentationfrom the obligor. 2) Obtain a determination of insolubility from VA 3)Determine the property value 4) Evaluate VA's anticipated losses under the alternative and foreclosure 5)Determine the need for and obtain (if necessary) a promissary note from the obligor. 6) Approve/Disapprove the request 7) Notify VA & the obligor of the decision in writing 8)Process the alternative 9) File a claim with VA. This procedure was not followed through and we were not informed that this service was available. The sad thing is that there are a lot of home owners that may find themselves in a situation like ours and don't realize that they have and alternative. The banks know this but being that foreclosures are at an alarming climb many banks don't want to deal with the process of loss mitigation. Instead a family may fall under a misfortune and instead of being helped they are treated like trash. Our situation was only temporary since we a were unable to find help and to save our home, we decided to file bankruptcy, chapter 13 which was our last resort. The process was degrading and painful. I hope no one ever has to go through that. Since then I have been an educator on Homeownership Education and Loss Mitigation. I believe this is not an isolated incident and the banks that practice loss mitigation should be held lialble for being negligent of following procedure set forth by VA,FHA and Conventional Loans which can result in a homeowner filing bankruptcy.
SAN ANTONIO, Texas
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